The Downside of Drowning Your Food in Sriracha (You Know You Do It)

Cover your ears, Sriracha diehards.


For some, Sriracha — particularly Huy Fong’s take on the hot sauce — is to a meal what breathing is to life. It’s essential. Impossible to live without. A pure necessity. In my house, we go through bottles of Sriracha (like, the oversized bottles designed for mass consumption) like some people go through milk. But a recent piece on the Huffington Post made me think twice about drowning everything from eggs to peanut butter sandwiches (really) in the spicy red sauce.

In the post — which gets straight to the point with the headline “Your Sriracha Has a Lot More Junk In It Than You Thought” — the author points out that the second ingredient in Huy Fong’s Sriracha is sugar. (And you don’t need me to tell you that we’re all consuming way too much sugar already). This is the same reason Salad Heaven (otherwise known as Sweetgreen) booted Sriracha from their menu over the summer, replacing it with straight-up chiles.

I’ve been slow to jump aboard the anti-Sriracha train. But — like everyone else in these early days of the new year — I am trying my darnedest to consume less sugar, mostly to satisfy my vain aspirations of one day boasting Kim Kardashian-esque, silky-smooth skin. So, concerned that Sriracha could be sabotaging my efforts, I reached out to registered dietitian Angie Asche of Eleat Sports Nutrition to ask whether Sriracha addicts (read: me) should really be worried about drowning their food in the spicy (sweet) goodness.

The short answer: Yes.

As she old me, “I feel in small amounts, it’s okay to use. But the sugar really does add up, especially since most people don’t realize it contains sugar.” And here’s the line that really hurts: “If you’re a daily Sriracha user, I highly recommend cutting back to reduce your overall sugar and sodium intake.”

Insert shattered heart here.

That said, there’s no need to oust Sriracha completely — just be conscious of the fact that when you’re squirting it all over your eggs, and your lunch salad, and your burrito bowl, you’re not just covering your food in chiles, you’re upping its sugar count, too. And if you’re looking for a new, sugar-free favorite hot sauce, Asche’s favorite pick is Tessemae’s Buffalo hot sauce. Its sugar count? 0 grams.

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